ABU DHABI // The UAE on Friday reaffirmed its commitment to the global battle against climate change.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, told the Cop22 summit in Morocco of the country’s belief in the importance of turning the Paris Agreement into a reality.
“Turning the Paris Climate Agreement into real initiatives requires enormous efforts and collaboration at the local, regional and international levels,” said Sheikh Mansour, who had led the UAE’s delegation.
Part of those efforts is the Research for Climate initiative between the UAE and the University of Maryland to align the work of academia with that of the Government. It was unveiled at Cop22 on Thursday.
Sheikh Mansour said the climate change pact sent a clear message that governments had the responsibility to involve all players so they could work together on the environment.
“We are confident that such platforms will offer a strong impetus to global efforts to minimise the impacts of climate change,” he said.
Sheikh Mansour invited the Cop22 delegates to Abu Dhabi Climate Action Day and the World Government Summit, to be held in Dubai next February, which will focus on climate and its effect on food scarcity.
Sheikh Mansour’s statement was delivered by Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
After two weeks of talks in Marrakech, almost 200 nations reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said the US election of Donald Trump as the next president prompted discussion at the forum.
But Dr Al Zeyoudi told Cop22 that the US was not dependent on one person when it came to issues of the environment.
“There are so many local authorities with which we can work together,” he said. “After pulling out from Kyoto, the US came out with so many carbon-mechanism systems.”
Mr Trump’s past threats to scrap US international involvement in climate-change treaties cast a shadow over the talks.
“The world is going to move with the States or without the States,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said. “Businesspeople, governments, they’re talking about action.”
He said that if the US under Mr Trump were to leave the Paris deal, it would take at least four years, during which time businesses in the US would continue to curb carbon emissions while the cost of clean technology would keep falling.
“At the Cop 22, where countries started to fulfil their pledges under the Paris Agreement, we need to chart a course of action that enables us to reach creative solutions to prevent climate change and allow companies, civil society organisations and universities and research centres to engage in this effort,’’ said Dr Al Zeyoudi.
The Cop22 nations’ statement spelt out that to combat climate change the highest political commitment was needed, and it urged all countries to reduce their greenhouse emissions to avoid the world warming by 3°C or more.